How to Become a Freight Broker in Florida – Get Your License
Freight Brokers have interesting, impactful careers that require them to have specific skill sets and personality types. Before determining if a freight broker career in Florida is right for you, it’s necessary to understand your role – and impact – in the shipping industry.
Brokers manage shipment details and act as liaisons between shippers and carriers. Your job as the intermediary ensures the smooth transportation of goods during shipping. However, being a freight broker in Florida is more than just monitoring shipments. Managing warehouse operations and establishing a presence in the industry takes time and effort. However, brokering can be an excellent career choice if you have strong negotiation, communication, and networking skills.
What Freight Brokers in Florida Do?
Your responsibilities are not only limited to the intermediary role; you will also perform other functions. For example, you must ensure that the shipper’s freight gets to the desired location without issue. You’ll also have to take on some or all of the following responsibilities to maintain operations:
- Advertising and sourcing for clients
- Providing shipping quotes to clients
- Finding available and suitable carriers for different freights
- Identifying and choosing trustworthy freight carriers
- Making reservations with carriers.
- Monitoring the movement and status of freights
- Ensuring the documentation and approval of freight before transportation.
Requirements and Licensing for Becoming a Freight Broker in Florida
The state of Florida has no clear-cut academic requirement for freight brokers other than a high school diploma, a GED or their equivalent. Although you’re under no obligation to seek formal training or licenses, they help advance your career and highlight your credibility.
To become a licensed freight broker in Florida, you must apply for a Motor Carrier Authority license, issued by theFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).To apply for the certification, you will need:
- Proof that you have liability and cargo insurance
- Provide a $10,000 surety bond
- Wait four to six weeks for the application to be processed
After receiving the certificate, you can seek employment and begin your career as a freight broker!
Where to Get Relevant Education in Florida
Florida does not require you to acquire formal education before starting a freight brokering business. However, some employers may want employees with training and experience.The good news is that most training programs on freight brokering are online-based. You get to study at your own pace and work at the same time.
Multiple schools in Florida offer degrees that help you build your skills as a freight broker.If you are considering getting a degree, here are a few schools to consider:
Florida International University, Miami
FIU offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration course in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.The online class helps you understand the ins and outs of the industry. It also allows you to build critical skills and knowledge that you can apply in your career, such as:
- Minimizing inventory and transportation costs
- Streamlining your business processes
- Improving customer experiences
- Enhancing your business profitability
University of North Florida, Jacksonville
UNF offers online training programs to both freight brokers and freight agents.
You will learn the skills needed to succeed in the freight brokering industry, from licensing and operations to the best sales and marketing channels to attract the type of clients you want.The classes will also help you learn the fundamentals of running a domestic freight brokerage.
The courses offered at Valencia College involve the fundamentals of logistics. The classes emphasize safety, industrial truck driving, supply chain life cycles, and facilities. Some of the skills you’ll gain through Valencia’s hands-on courses include:
- Securing cargo for transport
- Performing a proper vehicle inspection
- Establishing quality control protocols
- Learning about warehouse operations
- Operating equipment
Career Outlook and Salary of Freight Brokers
According to theU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,there are about 95,600 practicing freight brokers nationwide.Moreover, 85 percent of communities in Florida depend on trucks to move their goods, making the state a perfect place to start your business.
A freight broker in Florida makes about $37,892 in a year on average. That amounts to roughly $18.22 an hour or $3,158 in a month. Depending on the location and place of employment, freight broker salaries range between $29,990 and $42,240. Top freight brokers in Florida also earn about $52,378 in a year.
Working as a Freight Broker in Florida
As a new freight broker in Florida, you can join an existing brokerage or start independently.Irrespective of your choice, look into prominent cities in the sunshine state to begin your career.
Typically, salaries in large cities such as Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville are higher. You may want to consider employment in these areas.Similarly, if you’re starting a company, the higher population will work to your advantage as well. With the continuous rise in e-commerce and online shopping, the shipping industry will continue to grow, increasing the demand for this lucrative career.